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Category: Eat. Drink. Preserve.

  • Rose Hip Syrup Recipe

    March 30, 2020
    Making our wild rose syrup is a multi-step process worth every bit of effort. The syrup is delicious, soothing and rich in nutrients like vitamin-C. We love to get out in nature to harvest our own hips from summer through fall, but buying hips still makes for a delicious syrup. Just be sure to purchase food-grade, not decorative, rose hips.

    Rose Hips

    Luscious hand-harvested wild rose hips for syrup

    If you use hips you harvest on your own, select only wild hips growing in places where road run-off, spraying and other nastiness won’t contaminate your crop. Pick when the hips are deep red and slightly soft. Ideally, pick them after a first frost. But, some varieties of rose hip will go bad by the time a frost comes. So, for instance, we harvest wild Rosa rugosa, a non-native species with enormous, sweet fruits, in late summer. That’s when they’re at their peak! Later in autumn, we gather Nootka rose hips from our property. If they’re ripe but we haven’t had a frost, freezing them before processing them, brings out an extra bit of deliciousness.

    Also, if you’re working with whole rose hips (purchased or self-picked), be sure to fully strain out all of the tiny hairs. These can cause serious internal aggravation and must be removed. It is labor intensive to remove the seeds and hairs from fresh fruits, but we find it worthwhile to do this before drying most of our wild harvest. Most of these hips we use as “chips” in teas. We freeze whole hips for recipes like the syrup that follows. Then, we carefully strain the solids through a cloth jelly bag or paper coffee filter to capture and compost the hairs.

    Need supplies? These will get you started!



    (Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)


    Wild Rose Hip Syrup Recipe Print Print

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb fresh or frozen & defrosted, clean wild rose hips (or 1 oz dried rose hips)
    • 6 cups water
    • Juice of 1-2 lemons, fresh
    • Raw honey (about 12 oz)

    Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour over rose hips. Return to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and allow to steep, covered for 30-45 minutes.

    Wet a basket coffee filter. Place in a mesh strainer over a large bowl. (Or prepare a jelly bag strainer over a bowl.)

    Pour the steeped rose hips into your coffee filter or jelly bag strainer. Allow to drain. Set liquid aside. Do NOT discard hips.

    Bring another 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour over the same rose hips. Return to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and allow to steep, covered for 30-45 minutes. (Yep, again. This isn’t a typo!)

    Wet a basket coffee filter. Place in a mesh strainer over a large bowl. (Or prepare a jelly bag strainer over a bowl.)

    Pour the steeped rose hips into your coffee filter or jelly bag strainer. Allow to drain.

    Discard the rose solids.

    Combine the liquid from both times you steeped the rose hips into a sauce pan. (You may wish to run this through another wet coffee filter strainer if you think there’s any chance any of those nasty rose hip hairs are in your rose hip liquid.)

    Measure the approximate volume of liquid. Bring to a simmer, not a boil, and allow to simmer and steam until the volume is reduced by about half.

    Remove from heat and allow to cool until just barely warm. (Cooling it to below 110F is ideal so your honey doesn’t degrade and lose its great properties.) Measure how many cups of rose hip water decoction you have. Then add 4 oz honey for every cup of rose hip “water”.

    (You’ll probably have about 3 cups of rose hip water, which means add about 12 oz honey.)

    Stir in strained fresh lemon juice to taste.

    Bottle and place in fridge. Ours keeps about 1-3 months refrigerated, but every fridge and kitchen is different.

    ^<b>Medical Disclaimer: </b>The information on our sites, seminars, in any supplementary information, &amp; social media outlets is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through these materials are for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on our site, through our seminars or via any related media, outlets or materials. Statements regarding herbs &amp; products offered here have not been evaluated by the FDA. Herbal products sold, recipes offered &amp; plants reviewed or sold by Garden Mentors are not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease. Please do your own research about each herb’s properties &amp; constituents before using them. Garden Mentors is not responsible for individual use of these products or recipes.

     

     

  • Calm the Eff Down Herbal Tea

    March 24, 2020
    In this time of Covid-19 pandemic anxiety, sleep is even more important. But, letting go of all that stress to actually sleep and sleep well can be difficult. We’re stuck at home, sometimes locked indoors. Our social outlets are totally disrupted. We may be alone. We may have lost our life savings, our jobs, loved ones. The disruptions just keep coming. Mixed messages and rumors are unending. Even touching salad greens might be stressing us out. A cup of calm tea might be your ticket to snooze.

    Calm Tea

    Simply sipping tea can help us chill out. Sipping this tea might just help you Calm the Eff Down when you need it most.

    Mother Earth offers many herbs that can serve us well at times like this. Some are gentle and safe. Others can be incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous. And, every person’s relationship with each herb may vary from another person’s reaction to it. So, always do your research before you use any herb for any purpose, at any time and for any duration. ^Also, read this.

    Now that we’ve been clear about plant medicine power and your responsibility to know yourself and your herbs before you use them, following is one of our favorite simple herbal tea recipes. It helps us calm down, fall asleep, and when we’re lucky, we even get a full night’s rest before awakening refreshed to face the on-going, evolving challenges to humanity.

    (Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)



    Calm the Eff Down Herbal TeaPrint Print
    Makes about 4 cups or one small pot of tea

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3 T lemon balm, dried (if using fresh, use about 1/3 cup chopped)
    • 1 t schisandra berries, dried (if using fresh, use about 1 T)
    • 1 t oat straw, dried
    • 1/2 t dried linden flower (if using fresh, use about 1 T)
    • 1 T lemon verbena, dried (optional)

    Combine herbs in a tea diffuser. Place in a 4-cup teapot. Pour hot (not boiling) water over the herbs. Cover. Steep about 10-15 minutes.

    Pour a cup. Inhale the sweet, delicious fragrance. Sip.  And Calm the Eff Down!


    If you’d like to try ordering from an online apothecary, to have your herbs shipped or to schedule a pre-paid pickup, Dandelion Botanicals in Seattle, WA may have supplies of these herbs available for purchase in smaller quantities.


    ^Medical Disclaimer: The information on our sites, seminars, in any supplementary information, & social media outlets is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through these materials are for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on our site, through our seminars or via any related media, outlets or materials. Statements regarding herbs & products offered here have not been evaluated by the FDA. Herbal products sold, recipes offered & plants reviewed or sold by Garden Mentors are not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease. Please do your own research about each herb’s properties & constituents before using them. Garden Mentors is not responsible for individual use of these products or recipes.

  • Chai Tea Recipe

    March 14, 2020
    Our Chai tea is filled with herbs known for their antiviral*^ properties and tasty-deliciousness. It’s spicy, warming, nourishing, and this recipe is one we’ve kept to ourselves, offering it as blended gifts, but never before as a published recipe. Until now, when we must all come together to stay healthy. We believe giving our best to each other is one of our healthiest and heartwarming practices. Since it takes a while to prepare and we drink it daily, we like to make a big batch at one time.

    Chai Tea Herbs

    Chai Tea herbal blends are powerful & delicious

    *If you’d like more information about the herbs included in this tea, please get in touch.

    Enjoy our downloadable recipe that follows!

    If you want or need any of our suggested ingredients, we appreciate your returned support by shopping through the convenient Amazon Affiliate links we’ve listed below. Times are tough for small businesses like ours during this period of quarantine. Your online purchases not only provide a small payment to us without increasing your cost, but they also bring the goods right to your door.


    (Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)


    Garden Mentors Chai Tea Recipe Print Print
    Makes about 8-10, 8 oz servings

    Ingredients

    • 8-10t dried astragalus root
    • 1 t (or more) whole black peppercorns
    • 16 freshly, slightly crushed green cardamom pods
    • 1/2 t (about 20-30) whole cloves
    • 3-4 whole cinnamon sticks (we prefer Ceylon)
    • 2-3 t dried ginger root, not powder (peeled & chopped fresh may be substituted to taste)
    • 4-6 t chopped, dried orange peel
    • 4 whole star anise pods
    • 1-2 Tablespoons dried rose petals (optional)
    • 1 t dried licorice root (optional)
    • 6-8 black tea bags**
    • 8-10 cups fresh water

    Preparation Suggestion:

    Combine herbs except black tea bags into a large cooking pot with lid. Add water. Cover tightly. Heat to a boil & immediately reduce to a very low simmer.

    Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn off heat. Add tea bags. Stir. Cover.

    Steep with tea bags to desired strength. Remove tea bags.**

    At this point, you can strain the botanicals from the liquid by pouring through a fine mesh strainer. Press to get last liquid from botanicals.

    Tea is ready at this point. If you aren’t going to drink all of it immediately, allow it to cool. Then pour into containers, label with name and date, and store in the fridge for several days to a week.

    Serving suggestions: We fill a big mug about halfway, reheat with a steamer or microwave, add honey to taste, and top off with steamed milk or coconut milk for a rich, latte. If your blend is too strong, try diluting with a bit of fresh water to taste.

    ** We like our tea very strong, so we use the larger number of black tea bags and leave the tea bags and botanicals to steep, covered, until the entire mixture cools. Then, we strain everything at once.

    ^Medical Disclaimer: The information on our sites, seminars, in any supplementary information, & social media outlets is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through these materials are for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on our site, through our seminars or via any related media, outlets or materials. Statements regarding herbs & products offered here have not been evaluated by the FDA. Herbal products sold, recipes offered & plants reviewed or sold by Garden Mentors are not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease. Please do your own research about each herb’s properties & constituents before using them. Garden Mentors is not responsible for individual use of these products or recipes.

  • Accidental Apple Chip Recipe

    August 26, 2016

    We’ve got a lot of delicious, crispy, dried apples in the pantry to enjoy this fall and winter. How they got to this ideal snap-crisp state was a happy accident that’ll be easy for you to repeat, on purpose.

    fresh apples to preserve

    Pick, buy or forage for apples like these Gravensteins in mid-summer to preserve at the peak of freshness!

    My new neighbor gave us several pounds of apples from her orchard, which I put into our dehydrator intentionally. I cored and sliced the apples about 1/4″ thick, spread them in single layers on the drying sheets, set the machine to 135F for fruit, checked the relative humidity (about 50%), and anticipated the slices would be leathery and ready to store in about 9-12 hours.

    What I didn’t count on was eating a bad oyster a few hours later.

    Raw oysters

    I’ve always loved raw oysters, but it may be quite a while before I slurp another ones of these down. Just looking at this photo makes me queasy!

    (more…)

  • Preserving the Season

    August 19, 2016

    This summer we’ll be preserving fresh food not harvested from our garden. Some years you just can’t rely on your own farm — large or small — to produce the foods you want to freeze, can or dry for the long winter ahead. We’re having one of those years.

    garden staged for sale

    In spring 2016, when we would normally be planting & harvesting, we were instead staging our home & garden for sale. And, we were saying good-bye to not-ready-to-harvest crops like this garlic patch.

    It isn’t that our crops failed. Rather, we just didn’t plant much in the way of a seasonal veggie garden. We were just too busy preparing our home for sale, buying a new home, packing, moving, repairing, unpacking & all that jazz — all in the midst of the annual seeding, sowing and early harvesting window. So here we are in August with just a few potted peppers and tomatoes, a single container with cucumbers, several potted herbs and a new field filled with enough blackberries to take over the world and feed an army.

    Fortunately, living in farm country means we have access to no-spray, locally grown, often organic (or at least transitional) foods, picked fresh from small farms. In fact, we’re pretty much eating a 20-mile diet comprised of locally grown producefish, grass-fed meats, dairy, and even eggs from our neighbor across the field next door.

    But, about the only thing we’ll be preserving from our own garden this year is those blackberries!

    homegrown harvest for preserving

    Most years we enjoy abundant homegrown harvest, fresh & for preserving.
    But, not this year.

    If your garden failed you or you just didn’t get around to planting it, now’s the time to discuss bulk buys with your favorite local farmers. If you don’t live in farm country like we do, visit your farmer’s market and ask about placing preserving orders. Many farmers will be happy to discount bulk buys, and if they offer better prices on their seconds, don’t snub the opportunity. Just get those very ripe goodies home and into your belly, canner, dehydrator or freezer right away.

    If preserving food is new to you, try some of the simple methods we’ve come to love for tomatoes, zucchini, basil, berries and more.

    Soon enough it’ll be planting time again, and it’s never too early to begin planning your future garden. Perhaps this time next year we’ll be discussing our new deer-proofed vegetable garden successes (or failures) or our forthcoming chicken coop or the perennial food forest we hope to install sooner rather than later. But, for now, I just need to figure out where I put the boxes with my dehydrator and canning supplies!

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(Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)